‘The Dream Stage’
Tired of winter? One way to escape the doldrums of cold and ice is through dreamy thoughts of a new project in your home. With the holiday season well behind us, perhaps you are thinking of ways to improve entertaining in your home. Perhaps it isn’t even inside your home that you envision your next project. It might be a major landscaping project, potting shed or outdoor kitchen.
There is the practical side of planning a new project: developing a budget, retaining a designer and developing plans. But much more fun than that is the dream stage … where you start making lists of what you would like to have (ignore cost at this stage) and start perusing pictures for great ideas that inspire. Two great internet sites exist to help you do just that.
Houzz and Pinterest are web-based sites that provide abundant resources, mostly in the form of photography, helping people research design options for their own projects.
Houzz is an on-line community of professionals, founded in 2009 by a California couple who, in their quest to build a new home, became frustrated by traditional methods of searching design resources. Today, this expansive website boasts over two-million photos of residential interiors, exteriors, as well as landscape photography … all of it professionally submitted. Visitors to the site can browse photos by room, style, feature or location. By clicking on a photo, you can learn about the designer, the products featured in the project, as well as ask a question directly to the designer. Perhaps you are curious about the exact color of paint used on the walls of the kitchen … or where a light fixture or tile was sourced. The professionals on Houzz are happy to answer your questions. Additionally, you will find articles on topics related to home design and a user forum. Over 2 million home improvement professionals use the site to connect with homeowners. Visit www.houzz.com.
A second popular photo-sharing site is Pinterest. This website differs from Houzz in that it is not a professional based forum, as any user is allowed to ‘pin’ images from any source to share with the Pinterest community. The website forum is not restricted to home design, but also includes arts and crafts, style, fashion and food. On the home improvement side, the community includes professionally submitted photography as well as that by DIY homeowners. Like Houzz, users may save images and categorize them into a personal profile. On both sites you can browse the profiles of other users and share ideas. Visit www.pinterest.com.
The third and traditional way to gather a ‘dream-book’ of ideas is to simply peruse home design books and magazines. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit in a cozy chair and flip pages! If you prefer this method, be sure to tag your favorite photos and attach a note about what grabs your fancy. By doing so, you will build a great library of ideas that can eventually be shared with whomever you engage to help expedite your project. So, let the hunt begin … because this is how great projects get off the ground!
I am a columnist for Duluth Superior Magazine, a monthly publication dedicated to the finer attributes of life in our Northland. My column appears in the Style section and is titled ‘Living by Design’. The following column was published February 2014.
Visit http://www.lindquistandcompany.com if you want comprehensive information of how to complete a successful kitchen or bath project.